Seeing the Possible Through Storytelling

Seeing the Possible Through Storytelling

Seeing the Possible Through Storytelling 1000 1000 echomedia

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
– Maya Angelou

We all know the feeling. We’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table in the middle of a lively conversation, and we have a story to tell. We can’t wait to get it out. The anticipation is excruciating, and when it’s finally our turn, there’s a feeling of relief and joy that we shared something about what we did, and who we are.

Telling stories is one of my favorite things to do as a fundraiser. There’s a lot that goes into raising funds – data segmentation, mailings, prospecting, stewardship, but when it comes down to getting someone to see what’s possible, and how they can be part of making that happen, personal stories are what connects them to the work we do at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Detroit.

Stories can be very powerful. They kindle emotions and spark empathy for our neighbors in need, yet they all don’t have to be dramatic or heart-wrenching to do that. Sometimes just the everyday telling of serving someone a hot meal, or helping them pick out a warm coat can serve as a catalyst to a deeper conversation that connects us to our listener and the listener to our mission. As long as they are genuine, stories fill a book of what’s possible.

As Vincentians, you change lives, and you have stories to tell. Some of your stories are personal, and are filled with despair, loneliness, hopelessness and more. It takes courage to tell those stories, but remember, you offer hope and friendship, spiritual guidance and comfort to those you visit. And in some cases, you lift them out of poverty. You transform lives, and SVdPD has supporters who want to know how they helped you make a difference, and how they can do more.

Your stories demonstrate the impact of their generosity. They’re proof that they are truly making a difference in the lives of the thousands of people who come to us seeking assistance.

Telling stories is one of my favorite things to do as a fundraiser, and I need your help to do that. This summer we launched our “Making it Personal” campaign, and asked for your stories about how SVdPD has helped our neighbors in need. As we move into the next phase of our development and marketing plan, your ongoing input will be critical to our ability to show our future and current donors the impact that their gift makes in our communities.

We will be sending out email newsletters and sharing impact stories in our thank you letters as well as sharing more about the work you do to assist our neighbors in need.

I would like to hear from you before December 1. Tell your story. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few sentences or bullet points. We’ll write it up and make sure it is what you want to convey before we use it.

Together, we can help every person see the possible, and show everyone how they can help to make the possible happen.

So as you gather with your family and friends around your Thanksgiving table, take a deep breath and unleash the storyteller in you. Then tell us. You’ll be glad you did.